Lately I’ve been hearing a lot of people saying they are looking for happiness. I, myself, catch myself saying, “All I want is to be happy” often enough to make me wonder what is true happiness after all.
It’s not surprising how we look to the external to fulfill this deep-seated desire. That’s why we book exciting destination holidays, have weddings, or buy a new home.
While external experiences can bring you happiness it’s often a temporary feeling which soon dissipates when the event is a distant memory. Life settles in and mundanity takes over. How often have you set goals, achieved them, felt successful but maybe a bit disillusioned when the outcome doesn’t keep you happy?
What is true happiness?
Why is it so elusive or fleeting even when your goal is all about finding happiness at the end of it?
Read on as I talk about what I think true happiness is and how to go about finding it so that it sticks around even when life takes a dip.
What is True Happiness? What Famous People Have to Say About the Matter
Let’s see what some famous people have to say about true or everlasting happiness.
Ancient Greek philosopher and scientist Aristotle, kept it short and sweet when he quoted, “Happiness depends upon ourselves.”
Irish-British novelist and philosopher, Iris Murdoch. also kept it simple by saying, “One of the secrets of a happy life is continuous small treats.”
A former Roman emperor didn’t mince his words when he said, “Remember this, that very little is needed to make a happy life.”
So far, true happiness seems pretty easy to achieve…
American author, Helen Keller, had this to say about the state of mind we’re all seeking, “True happiness…is not attained through self-gratification, but through fidelity to a worthy purpose.”
American critic, John Mason Brown, said it this way, “The only true happiness comes from squandering ourselves for a purpose.”
Eckhart Tolle, the famous author who wrote the phenomenal book. “The Power of Now” had this to say about the matter around happiness, “People look to time in expectation that it will eventually make them happy, but you cannot find true happiness by looking towards the future.”
The author of “The Light in the Heart”, Roy T. Bennett, said something similar, “If you want to be happy, do not dwell in the past, do not worry about the future, focus on living fully in the present.”
American author, Harlan Coben, said, “I try to stress to my children that buying something never leads to true happiness.”
American composer and guitarist, Jason Becker, who lives with Lou Gerig’s disease (from the young age of 22 years old), once quoted, “I guess I would say true happiness is to love and to be loved. Of course, having enough money for food, shelter, health care and things like that all help, but that is more about security.”
Industrialist and philosopher, Andrew Carnegie advised the following, “If you want to be happy, set a goal that commands your thoughts, liberates your energy, and inspires your hopes.”
What Do These Famous Quotes Tell me About True Happiness?
Reading these famous quotes about true happiness showed me that:
Simplicity is the order of the day and that it’s the small things (aka treats) done continuously that bring moments of true joy and happiness.
Only WE have the power to make happiness happen.
Having a purpose can go a long way to bringing us true happiness.
Waiting for happiness in the future is a waste of time – rather live in the moment and find happiness NOW.
Material things don’t bring lasting happiness.
When your energy vibrates at a high level and your hopes are ignited you’re experiencing true happiness.
Love and lovingkindness are the ultimate keys to true happiness.
When I identify true happiness this way, I can see how it happens in my own life. Happiness is when I indulge in a sublime cappuccino while people-watching from my favorite coffee shop. True happiness is when I’m working with my coaching clients and witness their growth and self-empowerment.
I experience true joy every time I do something from my list of “50 Things That Make Me Happy” (and they’re all simple things such as watching the sunsets, doing a Moon ritual, or spending time with the people I love.)
Happiness is nibbling on my favourite crisps or having a square of dark chocolate. True happiness is watching my daughter’s YouTube vlogs on Sunday evenings as she and her partner, Bibek share their travel experiences.
True happiness comes from a million little moments enjoyed in the present and being conscious of them as they happen. That’s the true power of living in the NOW rather than dwelling in the past or future-tripping.
True Happiness: It Lies in the Journey and Not in the Outcome
True happiness is a journey thing and while your destination or goal outcome can make you happy, it’s often temporary. The journey goes on forever and it’s while you’re traveling on the path of life that you find the moments of happiness that truly make your heart soar.
Finding true happiness lies in the undertaking of the journey and the process it entails – in the moment. Focusing on the process rather than the end goal allows you to put in place what you want to do, purposefully. The process or the journey lets you live a purposeful life if your direction and focus is on what you want for your True Self.
Supporting a worthy purpose ensures you prioritize what’s important to you. It helps to know what YOUR life purpose is to get the most out of happiness, contentment, and fulfillment.
My life purpose is to empower others to become better versions of themselves. I focus on facilitating change so that others may see the change they want to see in their own lives.
This gives me reason to get up every day and it brings me great joy when I can make a difference to someone. Even if it’s something as small as giving someone a hug when they need it most.
Focusing on love rather than fear is my mantra - every single day. Do I get it right every time? No, but it gives me a purpose to strive towards and the end result is happiness.
But, self-love and self-care is equally important for my own sanity and everlasting happiness. It’s all about balance and focusing on the journey and NOT the outcome.
What Doesn’t Bring Everlasting Happiness
The need for external validation: Everlasting happiness is an internal process and only you can guarantee how much you experience this state of mind. All the likes in the world won’t bring you happiness, especially if they don’t come from a place of genuine love and care for you.
Achieving goals: Achieving a goal can make you feel successful, proud, and confident but it’s only a stepping stone to your purpose. There are endless stepping stones to take and each one is a process. Make sure you know your purpose before creating goals if you want to experience everlasting happiness.
Retail therapy: Shopping gives you a temporary feeling of excitement but it never lasts. Retail therapy can lift your self-esteem and boost your mood but it’s rarely sustainable, especially if you blow your hard-earned money every time!
Money: While money can alleviate a lot of problems, it can also be responsible for unhappiness caused by distrust, greed, unhealthy power, and isolation. Too many people equate wealth with one’s sense of worthiness. Money can bring stability and certainty but don’t attach it to your self-worth.
5 Tips for Finding True Happiness
1. Identify Your Personal Core Values
Knowing what you hold close and dear will empower you to focus on what’s most important to you. This way, every decision you make in life will be solidly based in your values. Following a career that doesn’t align with your personal core values will only bring unhappiness. As will having unhealthy boundaries and setting the wrong goals.
Your personal core values ensure you live a life that's true to YOU.
2. Know Your Purpose
Identifying your life purpose allows you to be passionate about something that aligns with your personal core values. Committing to a worthy purpose gives you good reason to get out of bed every day and to follow your heart.
Your purpose gives your life meaning and requires you to come from a place of love, compassion, and empathy – all essential ingredients for true happiness.
3. Focus on Love AND Not on Fear
You get to choose whether you face the world with love or with fear. I’m not only talking about romantic love here but lovingkindness for family, friends, and even strangers who cross your path. Fear isolates you, closes your mind, and puts you in an unhappy corner.
Love expands your heart, your energy, and how you view the world with a healthy and open minded perspective.
4. Align Your Goals With Your Values and Purpose
Setting the right goals ensures you don’t follow a meaningless path through life. Instead, aligning them with your values and purpose means you do the things that bring you joy at every opportunity while knowing you’re heading in the right direction, always.
Lose weight because you want to feel fit and healthy so you can live purposefully – not because you’re seeking external validation from others!
5. Stay Spiritually Connected
Believing in a Higher Power, whatever that looks like for you, keeps you grounded. Having a spiritual connection allows you to feel safe in an otherwise uncertain world while keeping you present in the moment.
Through spiritual connection, you can have more resilience during the difficult times while attaining hope, meaning, and a healthy perspective on what’s happening around you.
Hiring a life coach is a good place to start if you want to find more happiness in your life. A skilled and experienced life coach can empower you to identify your personal core values and purpose in life. They can equip you with simple but practical and effective tools that’ll let you find the right path for YOU.
Contact me today and let’s talk – it could be the life changing experience you need!